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Q: Colloidal Silver ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Colloidal Silver
Category: Health > Alternative
Asked by: saregamapa-ga
List Price: $25.00
Posted: 27 Jul 2005 09:24 PDT
Expires: 26 Aug 2005 09:24 PDT
Question ID: 548538
I have heard a lot about a product being sold on the Internet and via
mail order called "Colloidal Silver."  I need information about the
safety, toxicity and efficacy (if any) of colloidal silver.
Subject: Re: Colloidal Silver
Answered By: crabcakes-ga on 27 Jul 2005 11:33 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Saregamapa,

   Silver does indeed possess antibacterial properties. It is used
today as coatings on bandages, urinary catheters, heart stents and
more, to help prevent surface bacterial growth. Silver nitrate drops
were used in newborn?s eyes to prevent infection. Taking colloidal
silver by mouth is another matter however, and a questionable
practice. There is no legitimate or scientific research proving that
taking colloidal silver supplements is beneficial. The US and
Australian governments warn against falling for such scams.

?Throughout history, people have exploited the germicidal properties
of silver. The Greeks and Romans stored water and other drinks in
silver vessels that were believed to keep the liquids fresh. During
the plagues in Europe, wealthy families ate from silver plates and
used silver utensils, in the hope that silver might protect them from
the disease that was claiming their neighbors' lives. Pioneers
traveling across the U.S. placed silver and copper coins in their
wooden water casks and milk jugs to retard the growth of bacteria and
algae. Settlers in the Australian outback would place a silver spoon
or fork in their water tank in the belief that it would sanitize the

  You will notice a lack of ?documentation? in my answer, that
originates from sites that sell products. These merchants hype the
properties of colloidal silver in order to promote their products. I
have presented scientifically proven information from trusted and
reliable sites only.  Tiny amounts of colloidal silver, taken orally,
seem to be non-toxic, but it?s efficacy remains to be seen.

Toxicity and Efficacy

   ?In 1999 the FDA issued a ?final rule? establishing that: ?All
over-the-counter (OTC) drug products containing colloidal silver
ingredients or silver salts for internal or external use are not
generally recognized as safe and effective and are misbranded. ?Many
OTC drug products containing colloidal silver ingredients or silver
salts are being marketed for numerous serious disease conditions and
the FDA is not aware of any substantial scientific evidence that
supports the use of OTC colloidal silver ingredients or silver salts
for these disease conditions.?

The Australian government says:
?Following an investigation by the Therapeutic Goods Administration
(TGA), the CMEC recommended that the NDPSC be advised that there are
no current legitimate uses of colloidal silver and that the
Surveillance Section of the TGA be requested to investigate the
illegal availability of colloidal silver products because of concerns
about their significant toxicity. The reasons for the recommendation
were that:
·	there is little evidence to support therapeutic claims made for
colloidal silver products;
·	the risk to consumers of silver toxicity outweighs the value of
trying an unsubstantiated treatment, and bacterial resistance to
silver can occur; and
·	efforts should be made to curb the illegal availability of colloidal
silver products, which is a significant public health issue.

?The FDA has worked with the Federal Trade Commission, which regulates
fraudulent advertising for non-prescription medical products such as
dietary supplements. Through Operation Cure-All, the FDA, FTC, and
various state regulatory agencies have sent "cyber letters" to web
sites making improper health claims for dietary supplements, in
particular, as well as other products that have not been approved by
the FDA or medically validated.?

?The report also states that "certain products that are clearly
problematic and which warrant close scrutiny." Such products include
dietary supplements marketed as treatments for autism, behavioral
disorders, mental retardation and Down?s syndrome; supplements
advertised as cures for cancer; colloidal silver products which some
supplement manufacturers claim can cure Alzheimer disease and cancer;
supplements advertised as cures for such "life-threatening diseases"
as cancer, lupus, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV); and
supplements that promise to help users reduce health problems
associated with drinking or smoking. As part of its enforcement
effort, the agency not only will take action against supplement
manufacturers that break the law but also will help manufacturers
understand their legal obligations by providing additional guidance
and educating consumers and health care professionals.?

?Critics also say that there is risk of developing a condition called
argyria in which excess silver is deposited in the skin and tissues
causing discoloration and possibly other harm. This is possible and
those who use colloidal silver need to be aware of it. The issue of
toxicity is of major importance and it needs to be understood by
everyone using colloidal silver. Since colloidal silver has become
popular, numerous (probably tens of thousands to hundreds of
thousands) of individuals have consumed colloidal silver, some of them
in substantial quantities.  It appears that the modern low
concentration versions of colloidal silver are better tolerated and
eliminated from the body than those preparations from the early
1900's.  Still there is a lot that needs to be better understood about
silver toxicity.?

?In 1995, an herbal distributor named Leslie Taylor tested nine
commonly marketed colloidal silver products available at health-food
stores and concluded:
·	Two of the products were contaminated with microorganisms. 
·	The amount of silver suspended in solution varied from product to
product and would gradually decrease over time.
·	Only five products actually showed antibacterial activity in a
laboratory test. To perform the test, she prepared a culture plate
with Staphylococcus aureas bacteria, which can cause infections in
humans. She then placed a drop from each product on the plate and used
disks of two common antibiotics as controls. After eight hours of
incubation, she found that bacterial growth had been inhibited around
the antibiotics and four of the products.?
?Currently, silver preparations are not approved for over-the-counter
use. Health food stores, however, actively promote silver formulations
for a number of conditions.?

?Promoters claim that CSP prevents and cures 650 diseases including
Aids and cancer. They say that people with even a trace of silver in
their bodies don't get sick!
Both Rosemary and the FDA have asked them for their proof. All they
get are quotes from old quacks who manufactured the stuff at the turn
of the century, misquotes from reputable authors and wonderful
anecdotes. "I've taken it everyday for four years and feel great," the
saleslady says.
The only problem Rosemary has with the anecdotes is that they are
selectively chosen to sell CSP. The promoters refuse to include her
negative anecdotes or those of all the other argyric people recorded
in the medical literature. Rosemary had breast cancer at the age of
42. The silver in her body made her face so gray that the nurses in
pre-op thought that she was in cardiac arrest! The promoters won't
tell you this though.

The FDA has told the promoters that if they want to continue making
medical claims for CSP they will have to first have it approved as a
drug. Of course, that doesn't stop them from selling the stuff as a
"dietary supplement." It just prevents them from legally writing their
claims on the label or putting them in their ads.?

?Colloidal Silver - Silver is a metallic element that is mined as a
precious metal. People are exposed to silver, usually in tiny amounts,
through their environment, drinking water, food, and possibly work or
hobbies. Colloidal silver supplements consist of tiny silver particles
suspended in a liquid base. They are often marketed with a variety of
unproven health claims, including for immunity, diabetes, cancer, and

Summary of the research findings
Silver has had some medicinal uses going back for centuries. However,
more modern and less toxic drugs have eliminated the vast majority of
these uses. Reviews in the scientific literature on colloidal silver
have concluded that42,43:
·Silver has no known function in the body. 
·Silver is not an essential mineral supplement or a cure-all and
should not be promoted as such.
·Claims that there can be a "deficiency" of silver in the body and
that such a deficiency can lead to disease are unfounded.
·Claims made about the effectiveness of colloidal silver products for
numerous diseases are unsupported scientifically.
·Colloidal silver products can have serious side effects (discussed below).
·Laboratory analysis has shown that the amounts of silver in these
supplements vary greatly, which can pose risks to the consumer.
Side effects and other risks
Animal studies have shown that silver builds up in the tissues of the
body. In humans, this accumulation can have a serious side effect
called argyria, a bluish-gray discoloration of the body, especially of
the skin, other organs, deep tissues, nails, and gums. How this
happens is not fully known, but silver-protein complexes are thought
to deposit in the skin and then be processed by sunlight (similar to
traditional photography).44,45

Argyria is not treatable or reversible. Other possible problems
include neurologic problems (such as seizures), kidney damage, stomach
distress, headaches, fatigue, and skin irritation. Colloidal silver
may interfere with the body's absorption of the following drugs:
penacillamine, quinolones, tetracyclines, and thyroxine. For more
information about colloidal silver, see the NCCAM fact sheet
"Colloidal Silver Products."?

?BACKGROUND: Legitimate medicinal use of silver-containing products
has dramatically diminished over the last several decades. Recently,
however, some manufacturers have begun to enthusiastically promote
oral colloidal silver proteins as mineral supplements and for
prevention and treatment of many diseases. Indiscriminate use of
silver products can lead to toxicity such as argyria. OBJECTIVE: To
assist health care professionals in a risk versus benefit assessment
of over-the-counter silver-containing products, we herein examine the
following issues: historical uses, chemistry, pharmacology, clinical
toxicology, case reports of adverse events in the literature, and the
recent promotion of over-the-counter silver products. Other sources of
silver exposure (including environmental and dietary) and EPA exposure
standards are discussed. A list of currently available silver products
is provided for easy reference and screening. CONCLUSIONS: We
emphasize the lack of established effectiveness and potential toxicity
of these products.?

?The Internet is full of popular complementary approaches currently
being claimed as valuable for combating bioterrorism. These include
colloidal silver, essential oils, and herbal preparations. A search of
the medical literature on popular alternative medicine products?such
as colloidal silver, for example?shows no clinical trials against any
organism on the current bioterrorism list. Although silver products
are used to suppress infection in burns, oral silver has not been
shown to be effective against infection and is toxic to humans in
moderate doses.?(Last page)

Articles on several people?s experiences

With and without colloidal silver

There you go. Think for a minute?  if colloidal silver REALLY cured
cancer, hepatitis, HIV and all the other infections it claims to cure,
would the scientific community continue to spend billions on research?
Everyone would be cured! My recommendation would be to use your money
to buy lean meats, low fat dairy products, natural grain breads, and
fresh fruit and vegetables! Eating a healthy diet is the best way to
improve your immune system. Exercise, a healthy diet and a good
night?s sleep is the least expensive and most efficient way to get and
stay healthy.

Good health to you!

Please request an Answer Clarification, before rating, if any part of
my answer is unclear.

Sincerely, Crabcakes

Search Terms
colloidal silver + efficacy
colloidal silver + germicidal properties
colloidal silver benefits
colloidal silver +argyria
colloidal silver  + bactericidal properties
colloidal silver  dangers OR side effects
saregamapa-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00

Subject: Re: Colloidal Silver
From: crabcakes-ga on 27 Jul 2005 20:52 PDT
Thank you for the 5 stars and the nice tip! I appreciate both!
Regards, Crabcakes
Subject: Re: Colloidal Silver
From: lkingforanswrs-ga on 02 Jan 2006 15:21 PST
It is a thorough answer, as far as it goes, but like most of the other
writing about this topic that I've found it leaves out too much
information to settle the debate.  For instance, the FDA is not a
neutral body only acting in public's best interest, although it may do
this some or much of the time, but is an organization with a
controversial history and subject to extreme lobbying by large
pharmaceuticals.  I am assuming that, like herbal remedies, colloidal
silver cannot be patented thus removing any incentive for exploring
its potential therapeutic use.  Don't take my word for it - here's a
quote from the Journal of the American Medical Association:

"[A] recent study by USA Today revealed that more than half of the
advisors to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have financial
relationships with pharmaceutical companies that have an interest in
FDA decisions." Catherine DeAngelis, "Conflict of Interest and the
Public Trust," Journal of the American Medical Association, 284(17),
Nov 1, 2000.

There are other questions, here, that need to be asked: why are there
no clinical trials of colloidal silver?  How difficult could this be? 
This raises questions about how clinical trials are conducted, and
most importantly, who funds them.  The American research and
development "system" for health products is mostly a privatized affair
(at least, I am unaware of any publicly funded research into health
products).  What if it does work in some way in some situations for
some people, which is largely the effectiveness pattern of most health
products? I think we can safely assume that if colloidal silver was
ineffective when clinically tested, the results would be widely
published. How can we find out, if private companies will not
investigate this?

Of course, colloidal silver is merely a symptom of the complex and
problematic reality of trying to figure out what medicines to use. 
Whom can we trust?  State run food and drug agencies are not
unquestionably accurate or without controversy, and the absence of
clinical trials doesn't tell us much beyond what the private sector
calculates it can generate returns on above certain margins.

In my few hours of internet research I came up with largely what
crabcakes did -- but there still remain too many unstable assumptions
in crabcakes' answer  for me to make up my mind.

PS.  Anyone out there got a recommendation for a trustworthy source of
medical  information?  Please pass it along.
Subject: Re: Colloidal Silver
From: drewskee-ga on 24 Jan 2006 23:59 PST
Hi There

My name is Jan and i come from South-africa...
Just before i start so that everyone knows where im coming from...
NEVER EVER begin a argument if you dont know both sides!!! --- Very

I like this one for example: The US and
Australian governments warn against falling for such scams!! --- Good
Game... u just fell for a scam bigger than everything else in the
world... why do they warn? Simple.... Medical firms and companies or
what u wanna call it wont benefit from this... No patients... no
money... no Medical system. Easy as that.

O and yeah... if u use sterling silver to make this colloidal silver
it can be toxic (this is where know both sides comes in) But if u use
99.999999...% silver in is perfectly save. i've used it 12 years of my
life... and it's been working for me im 100% in condition... help 4 of
my friends and family with cancer ( they are all 100% clean! And thats
after docters told one or two of them that they have 6 months left to
live... intense moments.

They took my word and began using the silver... and today (few years
later) im still enjoying the company of all 4 of my friends, all 100%
clean, nothing wrong with them.

Ps if u really have the time go to websites for colloidal silver, and
have a look what u find in colloidal silever... go to other websites
and find out wheter it is bad for u or not... u will be surprised!


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